I'm terrible at eating breakfast. I wake up each morning, drink three cups of coffee and work until I start feeling hungry and remember I haven't yet eaten anything. My husband is the opposite – he gets up and the first thing he does is put on some porridge for his breakfast. One of my three children also enjoys porridge in the morning, so there is always plenty knocking about.
I am trying to be more mindful about what and how I eat. I'm not dieting, but I'm being more intentional about what I eat and at what times of the day I eat. This means having to remember to eat breakfast!
This baked oatmeal is a crowd pleaser – it has the consistency of a cake, it just a bit sweet and it's not too heavy for an early morning meal. You can eat it warm or cooled, meaning you can make it ahead and have it prepared for busy on-the-go mornings, it freezes well and it's full of good, healthy ingredients.
You can add in any kind of fruit – apples, berries, mango – but the banana, for me, is not optional. You need it. It helps bind everything together and it also acts as a natural sweetener. I love to eat my baked oatmeal with a dash of vanilla and mixed spice and then, when the oatmeal is hot out of the oven, I drizzle some natural peanut butter over the top for some added fat, protein and – most importantly – flavour. I like Harry's Nut Butter or Nutshed peanut butter for this. It's also great topped with yogurt and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.
Makes two large portions or four side portions
150g porridge oats
2 large eggs
1 over ripe banana, roughly mashed with a fork
2 tbsp maple syrup (can also use honey, sugar or brown sugar)
1 tsp mixed spice (optional)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
Pinch of salt
Natural peanut butter, for drizzling (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and lightly oil, butter or line a small casserole dish with parchment. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add the mashed banana and mix with the eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup and salt. Add in the oats and mix until well combined (if you have picky eaters, you can blend all of these ingredients until silky smooth to avoid any chunky bits).
3. Add the batter to the prepared dish and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes. The top will rise and brown, just like a cake, so keep an eye on it. You know it's done when you lightly touch the top and it bounces back.
4. Remove the oatmeal from the oven and drizzle on the peanut butter (optional). Let cool slightly before serving by the scooopful, or let cool entirely, portion and refridgerate for up to four days (can also be frozen for up to six weeks).
5. If you don't like peanut butter, try: blueberries and lemon zest, mango and desicated coconut, dark chocolate and banana, strawberries and yogurt, maple syrup and rasperries or brown sugar and mixed spice.